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Film News Roundup: Michael Watson Boxing Drama Casts Louis Cordice, Jared Harris (EXCLUSIVE)

In today’s film news roundup, boxing drama “Michael” gets its leads, Common joins ‘The Hate U Give,”  3D documentary “Cuba” gets a release date and the Austin Film Festival unveils its first wave of titles. 

CASTINGS

Louis Cordice and Jared Harris have joined the cast of Magnificent Films’ upcoming boxing drama “Michael,” based on the story of Michael Watson, Variety has learned exclusively.

Cordice, who appeared in the final three “Harry Potter” movies, will be playing the title character and Harris will portray neurosurgeon Peter Hamlyn. Watson suffered a near-fatal injury during a loss to Chris Eubank for the World Boxing Organization super-middleweight title in 1991.

The film will also highlight the changes that resulted in ringside medical care as a result of Watson’s injuries, his court battle with the British Board of Boxing Control, his triumph over adversity, and journey to run the London Marathon.

Harris recently received a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of King George VI in the Netflix series “The Crown.”

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Common has joined Amandla Stenberg in Fox’s drama “The Hate U Give,” with George Tillman. Jr., directing.

Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall and Algee Smith are also starring. Shooting will begin September in Atlanta.

The movie is based on the Angela Thomas novel of the same name. Stenberg is playing a 16-year-old girl who grew up in a slum but now attends a suburban prep school and witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend. Common will play her uncle, who is a police officer.

Common is repped by CAA, manager Derek Dudley and attorney David Fox.

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Legendary has closed a deal for Roland Møller to join the cast of “Skyscraper” opposite Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell and Chin Han.

Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the action-thriller is produced by Beau Flynn via his FlynnPictureCo, Dwayne Johnson via Seven Bucks Productions, Thurber and Hiram Garcia with executive producers Dany Garcia and Wendy Jacobson.

Johnson stars as a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader who assesses security for skyscrapers. While on assignment in Hong Kong, he finds that he’s been framed for a fire in the world’s tallest building.

The film will be released by Universal on July 13. Møller’s credits include “Atomic Blonde” and “Land of Mine.” He is represented by CAA and Art Management. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

RELEASE DATE

Giant Screen Films and the Giant Dome Theater Consortium have set a May 18 worldwide release date for the documentary “Cuba,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The movie is produced by Golden Gate 3D in association with BBC Earth and distributed globally by Giant Screen Films. The GDTC is comprised of the Science Museum of Minnesota; the Cincinnati Museum Center; Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; Discovery Place of Charlotte; Museum of Science, Boston; Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego; and the St. Louis Science Center.

The film contains what’s touted at the first 8K footage of Cuba’s cities, people, culture, celebrations, arts, coral reefs, wildlife, and aerial landscapes.

“Cuba naturally lends itself to the majesty of the dome,” said director Peter Chang. “The pristine ecosystems, the preserved colonial architecture, and the vibrant scenes of deeply-rooted culture on the island are all bursting with complexity and color, and bringing this to life on the immersive dome canvas looks nothing short of spectacular. Everything from the aerials, to the intimate personal stories, to the underwater sequences are shot using the highest quality methods of capture, and the result is guaranteed to wow audiences everywhere.”

“Cuba” marks the third collaboration between GSF and GDTC after “Tornado Alley” and “Journey to Space.” It’s available in all giant-screen formats.

FESTIVALS

The Austin Film Festival has announced its first slate of titles, including the premiere of the season finale of HBO’s “The Deuce” with creators David Simon and George Pelecanos in attendance, Variety has learned exclusively.

Other titles include “Permanent” with Rainn Wilson and Patricia Arquette; “Please Stand By” with Dakota Fanning and Toni Collette; and “24 Hours to Live” with Ethan Hawke and Liam Cunningham.

The festival, which runs from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2, will premiere the romantic comedy “Amanda & Jack Go Glamping,” starring David Arquette and Amy Acker, and written and directed by Austin filmmaker Brandon Dickerson.

Meanwhile, Sasheer Zamata and Brent Morin will be in attendance for the world premiere of their comedy “The Outdoorsman.” The festival previously announced it would award its distinguished screenwriter trophy to Kenneth Lonergan, who won the Academy Award for best original screenplay this year for “Manchester by the Sea.”

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The New Orleans Film Festival has selected “Mudbound” as its “Centerpiece Film” for the 28th edition of the festival, which will taken place Oct. 11-19.

Mudbound” was shot in Louisiana, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was acquired by Netflix. Directed by Dee Rees from a script she co-wrote, “Mudbound” is an adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel about racial tension in the 1940s American South.

The movie stars Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, and New Orleans native Jason Mitchell.

 

FILM DEVELOPMENT

Lionsgate is developing  “Big Five,” a pitch by Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman that will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian.

The story centers on a mission to Africa where a secret project is underway involving endangered species and artificial intelligence. “Big Five” is based on a property by creative collective Section 9.

The writing team’s credits include “Almanac” for Paramount and “Unexplained Phenomenon” for Amblin and The Picture Company. They are repped by WME and Trevor Engelson at Underground. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

 

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